“Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.” Psalms 119:108
Once, just after I had given birth to my first child, I was driving down a street in Hammond Indiana. It was raining and chilly. Our old, beat-up, stationwagon had a few holes in the floor, so the cool air filled the car but Katie was bundled up in her car seat and sleeping quite peacefully. As I headed through the down town area, I noticed a woman standing in the pouring rain, thumbing for a ride. Guilt flooded my heart as I drove by her and even though I knew it was dangerous, I whipped my car around and headed back to offer her a ride.
The tall, dirty blonde haired woman with glasses hopped in my car as soon as I slowed in front of her. As soon as she slammed the door shut, my nose was assaulted by the pungent odor of cigarettes and cheap perfume. I guessed her to be in her forties as I glanced at her bad skin and messy hair. The chipped paint on her fingernails didn’t go very well with her leather print skirt and purple shirt. It took me less than a minute to realize she was a prostitute.
My stomach got cold as I watched her slide her hand behind me and begin rummaging through my purse, all the while facing me and talking to me about how cute my little girl was. I can’t remember all she said because I was so nervous that she was going to harm me and my child. But she spoke in a fake tone the entire time she rode beside me. I tried to witness to her but it was a lame attempt. Eventually, I dropped her off with her friends at a vacant lot on the other side of town and drove away.
When I drove up beside this woman, I wanted to do her some good. My intentions were to help. I had seen the circumstances, felt compassion and acted upon it. The woman received my actions, but wanted to rob me and lie to me.
This is exactly what we do to God sometimes.
The psalmist has arrived at the feet of the Lord and humbly asked Him to accept the FREEWILL offering of his mouth. He was praising God and wanted God to know it was not forced, required or fake. He was just there to praise Him and worship Him. The only thing the psalmist desired was that God would be willing to teach him even more about His person. He had a longing to understand more and more.
But I am afraid we often only go to God when we are in need of help out of a mess we have made. We pretend to praise and worship Him, but all the while we are trying to manipulate Him into winking at our sin, overlooking our robbing Him of tithes and offerings, and ignoring our lack of faith.
That is shameful behavior.
It is time for us to read the Word with understanding and allow it to penetrate the wickedness we harbor in our hearts. We need to deal with these sins we are so prone to hang on to and let God’s Word cleanse us so that we may bow at His feet and worship with a clear conscious.
So today, let’s remind ourselves that we need to have the right motives when we come to God and praise Him. Let’s be clear before Him in our hearts and not try and pull one over on Him, because He can see that from the moment you have that thought!
I don’t know where that prostitute is today and I don’t know how her life has turned out, but I’ll never forget how sad I felt that she was trying to steal from me while pretending to be nice. That was an awful moment. I NEVER want to make God feel that way.
Once we present our freewill praise to God, then we are in a position to learn more of Him.
Let’s Dwell in Him in honesty and never to just gain something from it. Remember, it is ALL about Him anyway!
Until Next Time, Lord willing,